December 30, 2011 Subject:
Decent audience source, but Corgan's vocals are rough
This show is the third gig of the October leg of the Siamese Dream US tour. The audience source is good and clear. The trouble is that Corgan's vocals are rough, this being the third performance in as many nights. The playing is fine, but the vocals do get in the way here and there. Comparing this show to the shows from Europe/UK in August-September and the US shows before those, one can already see that the song selection had become standardized. There would be very few surprises in the setlists for the October-November-December Siamese Dream US tour. This gig in Iowa is a perfect example of the type of set that the band would use for most of the shows on this tour. For the most part, the rarities are gone. The night before in Minnesota saw a performance of Starla and Pissant, Washington DC on 11/20 got Pissant and Frail and Bedazzled, and the tour-closer on 12/11 in Cincinnati features a long setlist with a mix of new and old. Besides those gigs, there were very few exceptions to the standard songs played. When you add up the other parts of the band's liveshow which had by now also become standard features (the between-song sound effects introduced on this tour, the rant in I Am One, and the routine "ad libs" in Silverfuck- the opening instrumental, the Over the Rainbow section, the Liar outro), I think that the result is that these shows ended up lacking spontaneity, and are pretty indistinguishable from one to the next, across the entire tour, save for those shows where the setlist featured a rare song.
Of particular note at this show is that Billy gets into a prolonged back and forth with the audience during the middle of Silverfuck. He goes on and on about MTV and his cynicism about things. This is an example of the type of attitude that Corgan started regularly projecting on audiences on this tour. He had been experimenting with the "rant" section of "I Am One" during the September gigs in Europe and the UK, and on this tour he now expanded the rant to now include heavy doses of contempt for the audience, which he would display on a nightly basis. This type of "staged" attitude toward the audience would continue all the way through to Lollapalooza. From a listening perspective, Billy's increasingly antagonistic attitude towards the audiences only further serves to make these US shows more the type of thing where if you've heard one, you've heard them all. It makes you wonder where all of this supposed aggression he now had was back when the band were doing those excellent shows in Europe and the US just a few months earlier.
As for other details for this show, there is also a lecture from Billy to the audience, for their behavior towards opening band Shudder to Think. As future shows on the tour would prove, this wouldn't be the last time that a crowd didn't like the opening act. Also of note is that on this date, Michael Jordan gave a press conference announcing his retirement from basketball. James makes a few references to it in the show, at one point asking for a moment of silence.